Author Information in the Google Search Results“Google Authorship” is one way that Google is tweaking the search results in order to improve the searching experience.  Google displays the picture of the author right in the search results in order to help users to find great content.

Here is the lovely picture of me displayed next to one of my recent articles:

Susan Hallam Author

Google makes it clear that not all authors generate good content, and we all know there is a lot of rubbish out there.

So, Google is looking to identify and highlight the best writers.  Google makes this clear in its announcement about Google Authorship:

“We know that great content comes from great authors, and we’re looking closely at ways this markup could help us highlight authors and rank search results.”

Many of our clients are generating high quality content as a technique for positioning themselves as experts at what they do, and as part of their search engine optimisation strategy.

The Google Authorship display will create a search engine result that

  • creates a larger and higher impact listing in the search results
  • builds trust by including both your personal photograph and name
  • builds your brand recognition
  • includes a link back to other articles that you have written
  • encourages interaction with your Google+ profile

How can you get your own Author Information in the Google Search Results?

There is no guarantee that Google will display your Authorship information. But unless you help Google to figure out who you are, then you have no chance at all!

The first stage in the process is to create your personal profile on Google+

You need to have a good picture that clearly identifies you as an individual, and create as complete a profile as you can.

susan Hallam google plus profile

The second stage is to claim your authorship identity.  This process consists of three links that serve to reinforce to Google your authorship:

1.  You will need an “author” page on your blog that confirms who you are.  You can see an example of the Susan Hallam author page by clicking here.  You will need to have a link from your Author Page to your Google+ profile page using the using rel=”me” tag

Susan Hallam Google Author Page

2.  Next, you need a link from your blog post back to your Google+ profile using the rel=”author” tag and you need to include your name on each post that matches the name on your Google profile:

Susan Hallam Google Plus Link from Blog Post

3.  And finally, you need to link from your Google profile back to your blog using either the “Contributor To” section, or verifying that your email address matches the domain name that your content is hosted on.

Contributor To Tag Google Plus Authorship


 And the last stage of the author verification process is to see if the whole thing worked or not.

Google Webmaster tools has a Rich Snippets Testing Tool that will show you whether you are verified as an author.

It will also show you what “rich snippet” will be used for your post. In the case of my articles, the rich snippet is determined by the key phrase entered by the searcher:

Susan Hallam Rich Snippet Test

The really big question:  Will your Authorship reputation influence your rankings in the search engines?

More on that topic in my next post!  See you then.



Background Reading:

Google Plus: Authorship main page

Google Authorship Information: how to verify your identity

Hallam Top Tips:  Google Plus

3 responses to “Author Information in the Google Search Results”

  1. Robin Eyre says:

    Hi Susan,

    Are you suggesting you post as a company, e.g. Collstream, or should I post as myself, Robin Eyre?


    • Hi Robin,

      Good question: are authors people or companies?

      At this point, the principle of “authorship” is about people, so you will need to be creating profile and publishing as Robin, not the business. The images in the search results are trigered by personal Google profiles, not by business Google profiles

      Good luck!

  2. Robin Eyre says:

    Thanks Susan. I increasingly see author’s pics and have wondered how it works. A good article.

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